Microprocessors that are unique to each Internet of Things (IoT) device is the way forward in the ongoing and tricky quest to secure the IoT, says\u00a0Crypto Quantique. One idea is that by making each chip one of a kind and unclonable, an application would become almost impossible to hack.\nThe U.K.-based startup says it has introduced \u201cthe world's most advanced security product for IoT devices.\u201d The microprocessor-based solution uses quantum physics, combined with cryptography, all embedded in silicon, it explained in a press release last October.\n\u201cThe world's first quantum-driven secure chip (QDSC), on silicon, which, when combined with cryptographic APIs, provides highly scalable, integratable, easy-to-implement and seamless end-to-end security for any connected device,\u201d the company claims. The chips generate large quantities of unique cryptographic keys using quantum processes, Crypto Quantique explains.\n\nQuantum computing, overall, is ideally suited for applications that need to be aware of and thwart any tampering. For example, attempted hijacking of quantum-entangled data, in a quantum-secured link adulterates the co-mingled data and cryptographic keys and notifies the system that the keys are now no good. The keys, thus, can\u2019t be used anymore, and the traffic appears unreadable. Additionally, the intrusion is immediately picked up by the administrators. It\u2019s all due to the way the data is co-joined and entangled. Roughly, the beginning of the stream, in this case, should be in the same state as at the end. If it isn\u2019t, there\u2019s been interference.\n\u201cThis is the iPhone moment for the IoT security category,\u201d Crypto Quantique co-founder Shahram Mossayebi says of QDSC in the press release. \u201cIt represents a complete step change; we've built something completely unique.\u201d\nInterestingly, the QDSC design would solve a dichotomy inherent in IoT, which is that one wants the devices to be cheap, often lightweight and small, with low power consumption yet also secure. However, added traditional cryptography takes up memory, making the device more cumbersome. (I wrote more about this problem last week and how edge computing could help.)\nBut Mossayebi says his product, which includes both the chip and API, doesn\u2019t need to have keys stored on it, so conceivably doesn\u2019t need to be so powerful. It frees up the limited space for computations.\n\u201cBecause of the uniqueness and way in which the keys are generated, there is no requirement to store the keys on the device because the keys can be retrieved on demand,\u201d the company says.\nMemory storage needs are reduced, as is \u201cleakage of sensitive information.\u201d End-to-end security provided by the QDSC chip links into an \u201cowner system.\u201d That system could be in a private cloud or a public cloud.\nQuantum-key distribution networks-secured fiber networks already in use\nQuantum computing increasingly is being seen as almost unhackable when combined with cryptographic keys. And indeed, Quantum-key distribution networks (QKD)-secured fiber networks are appearing. A 75-mile U.K. test link, run by the largest telco there was announced in July, and I wrote about the city of Jinan, Shandong Province, China\u2019s citywide municipal QKD system in 2017.\nBloomberg revealed this week that it knows of a QKD quantum cable running through the commuter-traffic Holland Tunnel buried between Lower Manhattan and New Jersey. And banks are testing the cable because of its potential security in comparison to regular fiber. They don\u2019t want wired money stolen, among other security needs.\n\u201cWhy bother when most network traffic is already encrypted?\u201d Bloomberg poses. It\u2019s because \u201cencryption is worthless if an attacker manages to get the digital keys used to encode and decode messages.\u201d The unique entanglement of streams of data found in QKD networks, with highly obvious interference alerting, makes the keys and data useless if they are hacked. The same idea could be applied to IoT microprocessors and their associated networks.